S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Monday, May 15, 2006

All for the faith...

I am thankful to the Lord for a fruitful apostolate work in Ilocos Sur and Abra Provinces. My heartfelt gratitude to the persons who, in one way or the other, nurtured me and accepted me wholeheartedly into their communities. First of all, the Parish Priests of Konbesryon San Agustin, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur -- Reverend Fathers ALbert Rabe, Mar Barroga, and Bernardo Gonzales, and the parish community. Secondly, to Sr. Celerina Zabala, SSpS of the Social Development Center (SODEC) of the Diocese of Bangued, Abra. Thank you very much, Reverend Fathers and Sister.

My work in Ilocos and Abra came to my mind as we Jesuits celebrate today the Memorial of St. Andrew Bobola, Jesuit priest and martyr. St. Andrew was born in 1597 in Southern Poland to a family of lower nobility. In the year 1611, he entered the Society of Jesus. after ordination in 1622, he served as pastor in the Jesuit church in Nesvizh, where he brought many souls to the Catholic faith. He then worked in the eastern Poland where Catholics have abandoned their faith. He was then murdered for his faith when he refused to denounce it.

St. Andrew is an inspiration to all of us, most especially to the Jesuits. He went where he was sent, even in the midst of difficulties and persecution for one purpose - to proclaim the goodness of God and the immensity of His love. Let us pray then that through the intercession of St. Andrew, we may be fervent witnesses to Christ and to His Gospel.


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